Monday, August 13, 2012
STAGES After three months of being unable to attend any dance or theater event, I returned to a theater to see BULLET FOR HITLER – and as the first act ran on incessantly with these people whom I would avoid in real life within three minutes of meeting them, I almost wished I had a bullet myself. The second act at least moved and was mildly interesting. The director used every stock trick in the book to get laughs – and the audience laughed loudly and long. The author had a few clever remarks but they almost got lost in the overdone physicality of the action. As one who hated slapstick since childhood, I found much of this production a terrible turn off. During that recuperative three months, from which I finally emerged, I read many plays, including IN MASKS OUTRAGEOUS AND AUSTERE by Tennessee Williams which I would love to see staged. I read two plays by Ayn Rand which I had seen in off off Broadway productions here in New York in the last several years Her IDEALS was cleverly cut and smoothly presented in the production I saw. It ran on and on and on in the original script. Her THINK TWICE was less well served in the rather less than professional showing I attended. She is one of my favorite twentieth century authors, as is Daphne du Maurier. SHOOT/GET TREASURE/ REPEAT by Mark Ravenhill gave me chills as I read the series of plays which are brilliantly written and certainly show a different viewpoint than Western Nations generally adopt It would be painful to watch – but that is their intention. I have been working on cutting and reshaping some plays I wrote years ago as three acts to the more acceptable one or two acts. It has probably made me more conscious of overwritten plays. PAGES Also read a series of Ayn Rand’s short stories, a number of Daphne du Maurier novels Including “The House on the Strand”, “Rule Britannia” and “Don’t Look Now.” At first I was disinterested in Sinclair Lewis’ "The Prodigal Parents” but soon got caught up in it and found it ultimately a delight. Read Art Times Journal Sept/Oct issue to see my remarks about two books about early twentieth century dance phenomena -rocj and rikk and Martha Graham. Will be on line in Sept and in print as well. I just finished editing and formatting the children’s book “Dan is not Scary” by Melissa deGenova and sent it to the printer. Maggie Cousins, who illustrated my four read-to-me children’s anthologies of fantasy stories did the front cover and the illustrations for this book as well. It is about a little girl’s birthday and how she reacts to her friends’ finding her wheel chair bound older brother daunting. It is an earnest attempt to make kids understand that differences in speech or physical capabilities should not make people uncomfortable or afraid. I am plodding along with the second part of my memoir of childhood during the Great Depression and Second World War. It seems there has been little peace ever since. “Remembering our Parents – stories and sayings from mom and dad” which will be released in September has a section from me about my dad and his reaction to the sale of my first poem. Selection was taken directly from my memoir. It’s the third book in the last two years to print contributions from me – First was “Living the Life of My Dreams” by Caryn FitzGerald, out in ebooks in 2011 and paper more recently, and “Imperfect Weddings are Best” by Dr. Sherry L. Meinberg, published by Create Space earlier this year”: My Leftovers reminiscence is the first anecdote in that book. I am now starting on a group of Somerset Maugham’s novels. It has been a long time since I read any of them, and the one I began with, “The Narrow Corner” was one I never read before. Rarely in the past did I read a number of works by one author all in succession. I find by doing so you realize how much repetition there is in an author’s work, even when each book is totally different from the others. Am ending this now with the hope that I will be back to seeing three or four productions a week and being able to report on many of them. I am walking slightly better than a two year old now, after months of having to keep my leg straight, no bending of the knee, and hope to be up to par in a few more weeks. Do post your reactionsto this blog rther then merely e mail me.